The MTN-led Anti Substance Abuse Programme has berthed the campaign against drug abuse in Rivers and Imo, an official said on Monday.
The Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.
She said that preparations was on top gear for the Abuja National Conference on Drug Abuse.
According to Ugboma, there is the need for urgency in reaching young ones across the country with the campaign.
She said: “We all bear an unshakable burden and sense of responsibility toward every young Nigerian, as we cannot stand by as these ones become victims of any form of substance abuse.
“This is the time to act and act swiftly too. It is for this same reason that various stakeholders from multiple organisations have come together to partner in this call to action.
“I strongly believe that with everyone’s support, with every input whether on social media or in the field, with every encouragement, we will combat this successfully. We do not have a choice.”
She listed some stakeholders that had contributed in making the campaign reach the target as Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry, Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria, the police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Association of Community Pharmacists.
She added that various locations around the Treasure Base and Eastern Heartland of Nigeria had witnessed the ministrations of the specially skilled team of experts whose primary focus was to spread awareness about the increasing menace of substance abuse among young Nigerians between ages 10 and 24.
She said that they shared the mitigating measures available to ensure a nation of young torch bearers and advocates of a drug-free country.
She said: “Using the native dialect, passersby, motorists and traders in areas such as the Oyigbo Mass Market, Abuloma Main Market, Choba Main Park (Port Harcourt), Orlu, Egbu, Douglas Motorparks (Owerri), and its environs were sensitised on the escalating issue of substance abuse.
“Many expressed shock at the numerous substances being abused in recent times.
“Other popular locations visited included the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rivers state; Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Nkpolu Oroworukwo; Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State University, Owerri.
“The Rivers State House of Assembly Auditorium, Port Harcourt, and the Rock View Hotel, Owerri, hosted the highly anticipated roundtable that convened stakeholders across board for a robust discussion to chart a clear, actionable and impactful way forward.
“The ASAP activities in each state culminate in the walk as plans have been finalised for the team to earnestly begin activities in Abuja.
The much-discussed naational conference is still scheduled for June at the Federal Capital Territory’s.